Archive for March, 2017

April Bloomfield’s English Porridge

IMG_8478

New York City and the East Coast is tucked in under a layer of snow that continues to fall hour after hour. It’s the perfect day for slowly working, reading in bed, countless cups of tea, and the perfect bowl of Oatmeal!

I grew up eating a ritual of overly sweetened oatmeal made in enormous 60 quart heavy pots, bursting with plump raisins and spooned hundreds of times each morning before my carpool would pick me up from the breakfast shift at Martin de Porres where I worked along side my mom. At home I never remember eating oatmeal but rather the smooth even bowls of Farina cream of wheat. As an adult I have experimented with oatmeal of many varieties – instant in college, quick cooking for years, steel cut with its hearty bite, and cold oats in the summer, but all of my hot bowls of oatmeal have left me wanting something, that is until recently.

IMG_0279

All of my oatmeal dreams came true in one recipe from April Bloomfield, its not complicated, doesn’t take much time, and ultimately changed how I look and feel about my morning bowl of oats. I have loved this warm and hearty bowl of oats a combination of both rolled oats and steel cut leaves a consistency both soft and smooth with just the right amount of bite and give between the teeth. Cooking them in milk and water makes them richer and more flavorful. I have made them lightly sweetened at times or completely unsweetened at other times; I have finished them with a slick of syrup, or some berries, or a banana and peanut butter, or completely on their own. The recipe makes 2-3 servings and I like to make it and then warm up each bowl on the following mornings. Sometimes the easiest things are the best things.

I hope you are warm, dry, and if you are lucky I hope you will be able to snuggle down and eat a bowl of these oats in the very near future.

Love,

Ramona

IMG_0277

April Bloomfield’s English Porridge from Food 52

Ingredients:

1½ cups of milk (any kind of milk – I have used coconut, almond, soy, and dairy and they are all great) 

1½ cups of water

1½ teaspoons salt

½ cup rolled oats

½ cup steel-cut oats

Optional – about 2 tablespoons of sugar during cooking process

  • Combine the milk, water, and salt in a saucepan and set over high heat. As soon as liquid comes to a gentle simmer, add both kinds of oats and lower heat to low.
  • Cook the oats at a steady simmer, stirring frequently and lowering the heat as necessary to maintain the simmer but not bubble over.
  • After about 20 min the rolled oats will have turned soft and almost melted, while the steel cut oats will be tender and have the slightest bite, and all of the liquid will have been absorbed.
  • If you wish to sweeten the entire pot of oats use 2 tablespoons of sugar when you add the oats.
  • Finish with berries, banana, nuts, maple syrup, or anything that makes you happy.

IMG_0278

15

03 2017

Recipe Index and Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf Cake

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 4.17.51 PM

My Purple Sky now has a Recipe Index! Yay!

Yes, that means that now you can search for that favorite cookie (Anne’s Ginger Snaps) or a soup (Cauliflower, Mustard, and Cheddar Cheese) or just find some inspiration in one easy place. And to celebrate I made one of my favorite winter cakes – a pumpkin and cranberry cake! Let’s celebrate and eat cake!

IMG_0097

I found this cake a few years ago and have been a devote the last few years but kept forgetting to post the recipe here. The original cake was made with buckwheat but I am not a huge fan of buckwheat and have found it just as delicious with my regular everyday flour. I love the earthiness from squash or pumpkin ever so slightly spicy, not too sweet and studded with bright and tart cranberries. Its perfect sliced and next to your morning coffee or after dinner with tea, and perhaps there is recurring theme of that it pairs nicely with a warm beverage, but be not fooled it is just as good in thick slices as a snack between meals or snuck in bites late at night.

IMG_0099

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf Cake

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter

1 cup of muscovado (dark brown) sugar

2 large eggs

1 + 1/8 cup flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

1-teaspoon baking powder

1-teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup squash puree or pumpkin puree (whatever you like)

¾ cup cranberries (fresh or frozen, but not dried)

  • Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line a loaf pan with parchment paper so that it is overlapping all of the sides and will later be used to pull the entire cake out of the pan in one move.
  • Combine butter, sugar, and eggs in the bowl and beat on medium speed until light in color, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pumpkin puree and beat on low speed until smooth.
  • Fold in the cranberries.
  • Bake the loaf for 45 -50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool the loaf in the pan for 30 minutes before using the parchment to lift the cake up and let cool completely on a rack.
  • The cake keeps for several days on the counter, wrapped loosely in parchment or plastic wrap.

IMG_9680

09

03 2017